|Themistokles von Eckenbrecher, on the Sognefjord, 1901|
In M42, you will fight over all sorts of terrain. From the green fields of agro-worlds, to the volcanic rock of inhospitable alien planets.
The particular features of a battlefield can either help your forces by giving them places to hide from the enemy’s fire, or they can hinder your movement, forcing you to take a different path to your objective.
The building class encompasses any man-made structure with walls. Buildings block line of sight, and may have features like windows and doors that allow troops to both see and fire out. Specific rules define which kinds of troops can enter buildings, and how.
Broadly speaking, ruins are destroyed buildings where the structure is much more permeable to movement that an intact building would be. Troops moving through ruins suffer fewer penalties to their mobility. But the protection offered by a ruin is also much lower.
The Area terrain class is a broad category that defines an area with special rules for movement, cover, etc. This includes Woods, fields, marshes, rocky ground, and hills. All of which are defined as occupying the ‘area’ of the feature’s base.
Linear Obstacles include features like walls, hedges, creeks, fences, and other point-to-point features that inhibit movement or provide cover, but which do not cover enough of the table to be considered Area Terrain.
Roads represent paved or cleared areas that allow units of certain types to advance more quickly across the field of battle.
Any part of the gaming table that is not occupied by a terrain feature is considered to be ‘Open Ground’.